Blasters, East Bengal to start ISL season on Oct. 7 at Kochi


Kerala Blasters FC I PTI

Mumbai: The 2022-23 Indian Super League will kick off on October 7 when last season's runners-up Kerala Blasters host East Bengal FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

Matches are scheduled between Thursday and Sunday, bringing the ISL in line with the top global football leagues.



All ISL teams are currently participating in Asia's oldest competition, the Durand Cup, as they gear up for the upcoming season.

The ISL will be followed by the Super Cup in April.

The upcoming season will see fans back in the stadiums after a gap of two seasons. To make it convenient for more fans and families to attend and watch their teams in action, the ISL has created a fixture list with matches taking place on weekends.

This season onwards, league organisers Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) have also introduced a new playoff format for the league, adding two exciting matches into the calendar.

The top two teams at the end of the league stage will automatically qualify for the semi-finals. Teams finishing between 3rd and 6th will feature in a single-leg playoff to determine the other two semi-finalists.

Defending champions Hyderabad FC start their campaign on October 9 in front of their home fans against former winners Mumbai City FC at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium Gachibowli.

League Shield Winners in 2021-22, Jamshedpur FC are in action two days later, on October 11 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex against Odisha FC.

Fans can watch India's biggest derby between ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal FC on October 29 and February 25 next year, to be played at the iconic Vivekananda Yuvabharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata.

For the first time ever, the ISL league stage will run for close to five months apart from the playoffs, semi-finals and final.

Each club will play 20 league matches – 10 each at home and away through the autumn till next spring as the league stage draws to a close on February 26.

New ISL playoff format:

Eliminator 1: 3rd placed team vs 6th placed team

Eliminator 2: 4th placed team vs 5th placed team

Semi-Final 1 1st Leg: 1st placed team vs (Winner – Eliminator 2)

Semi-Final 2 1st Leg: 2nd placed team vs (Winner – Eliminator 1)

Semi-Final 1 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 2) vs 1st placed team

Semi-Final 2 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 1) vs 2nd placed team

Final: (Winner Semi-Final 1) vs (Winner Semi-Final 2).

PTI

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